Autofluorescence of human skin is age-related after correction for skin pigmentation and redness

J Invest Dermatol. 2001 Apr;116(4):536-40. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2001.01285.x.


When measuring the skin fluorescence in vivo, the absorption of chromophores such as melanin and hemoglobin often contribute predominantly to the changes in fluorescence and obscure the information from the fluorophores. We measured in vivo the collagen-linked 375 nm fluorescence (excitation: 330 nm) and 455 nm fluorescence (excitation: 370 nm) from nonexposed buttock skin of healthy volunteers. Skin pigmentation and redness of the same sites were quantified by reflectance of the skin at 555 nm and 660 nm. Multiple regression analysis was used to find the correlation between the fluorescence and skin pigmentation and redness. The fluorescence was corrected for the impact of pigmentation and redness according to the equation found in the regression analyses. The age-related trend of the fluorescence was evaluated. The 375 nm fluorescence showed positive relation to age, whereas the 455 nm fluorescence showed no significant relation to age. The increasing rate of the 375 nm fluorescence (logarithm transformed) was 2% per year, which is comparable with previously published data. The results suggest that the correction of the autofluorescence intensity for skin pigmentation and redness is valid, and the 375 nm skin autofluorescence may be used as a biologic marker of skin aging in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Color
  • Female
  • Fluorescence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena*
  • Skin Pigmentation